So we had the whole of October for pre-production and I’m sure you are wondering what we were up to. Allow me to demonstrate.

The whole month was filled with lots of design, brainstorming and concepting. We collected our personal visions and inspirations on a visual board, with lots of frontier art, comics and western and folk music. Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck is a definite inspiration for many, and I just received the physical comic in the office. Fun break-time reading!

Concepting the look started with the basic environment – how does the environment feel and how does our Valley look like? Take a look at these early concepts.

One of the things that dictates the art style is the avatars. Here’s what we experimented with  before settling on a particular style.

On the design front the effort was naturally front-heavy. We had to lock down the tools, the loot types, the biomes, the enemies – basically the whole world (our Valley) and all it’s interactions. Ari-Matti has been venturing deep into spreadsheet jungles to figure out the economy progression and level design.


Now I am confident our direction is the right one and the stepping stones on it can already be seen.


What I’m personally looking forward to realising are the new gameplay mechanics – making the mines dangerous with wandering enemies, emphasising the exploration aspect with free form mining, using all the new 2-handed tools and involving the player in the narrative. And of course the multiplayer gameplay to spice things up. Today we had a 4-player testing session with all these new elements and I have to say it is looking more than promising!


To top things off, here’s a few shots of our early prototypes (graphics are all placeholder).


See you next week!

-Jaakko Asikainen (Kharan)


Random development quote: “Miten ois joku juomapeli, näin perjantain kunniaksi? -Toimistolla vai pelissä, kumpaa sää nyt tarkoitat?”